HARKER HEIGHTS — The city collected 1,000 pounds in donations during the final week of its second annual Summer Pack the Pantry food drive, held during July to benefit the city’s Food Care Center.

That late surge brought the total to 1,190 pounds of food — five times the city’s initial goal of 200 pounds.

“I have no idea what to attest it to, other than I am greatly appreciative that people are so giving,” said Heather Cox, the Harker Heights activities coordinator.

best possible news

It’s the best possible news for the Food Care Center, which has struggled to meet the increasing demands as more families rely on its services during the summer. The center fed 1,500 people in July alone, and saw 95 families July 23.

“Now that the kids are out of school, these last few months have been really tough,” said Linda Dawson, the executive director of the Harker Heights Food Care Center. “Sometimes food drives are our only way to get donations in the summer.”

While common during the holidays, food drives tend to taper off during the summer months, Dawson said. This doesn’t bode well for the 75 to 85 families the center sees each week — some of whom, Dawson said, only visit during the summer.

“People have to eat all 12 months of the year,” Dawson said. “And every other month, they’re cutting back the percentages on food stamps. (These donations) are a great help.”

The center purchases most of its food from the Austin-based Capital Food Bank on a weekly basis, and often, those resources are depleted by Saturday, Dawson said.

However, she said the donations from the drive will suffice for the 75 families who are likely to visit the center this weekend.

“We should be able to feed all the people who walk through that door on Saturday,” Dawson said.

The Harker Heights Food Care Center is located at 100 E. Ruby St. Monetary donations can be sent to P.O. Box 2238, Harker Heights, TX 76548, and checks are payable to the Harker Heights Food Care Center.

Conta​ct Erinn Callahan at ecallahan@kdhnews.com or 254-501-7464.

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